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Sea Raven

Lure Foiling - Epoxy won't stick to foiled lures

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Dear lure maker community,

I have a couple of old lures which I don't use since I don't like the color much. After watching lure foiling videos on youtube I thought I give it a try and upgrade those lures with a little bit of flash. After some trial an error, I am happy with the foiling result. I used Tesa Aluminum Tape from a local hardware store (https://www.tesa.com/en/consumer/tesa-aluminium-tape.html). I also polished some of the lures to achieve an almost mirror like finish and I believe it looks great.

Now I wanted to seal the foil to preserve the sheen and then start with (spray can) painting. I am using a UV cure Epoxy from a local craft shop. I have used this to seal some beaten up lures without foil and it has been working fine.

I cleaned the lures thoroughly with Isopropanol and afterwards only touched it with gloves but much to my surprise the paining fails instantly. The Epoxy pulls together in blobs rather than forming a surface. I had to clean the lure again since the result cannot be worked with. Later test also revealed that the Epoxy does not stick to the surface.

Then I tested household Aluminum foil - works like a charm without any issue. Not only does the Epoxy cover the foil evenly, it also sticks extremely well. 

I tried cleaning the tape with different solvents (see picture) but also mere soap, or Acetone, Phosphoric- and Citric-acid.. Nothing works. Sanding had some effect but also completely destroyed the luster of the foil. Tesa has no indication about any surface treatment of the foil. It only states "Adhesive on Aluminum Carrier foil" on their MSDS.
I noticed that the foil is super water repellent: When I put it in a container to do some testing, water would build around the foil covering the whole bottom before finally touching the foil so seemingly the surface is extremely water repellent.

What am I doing wrong?

Whatever TESA has covered the foil with, how do I get it off?

If I need to go through the foiling again with a different tape - how do I make sure I am not getting a product with the same issue?

Any advice greatly appreciated.


Best regards 



Edited by Sea Raven
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Finishing a lure while keeping the reflectiveness is a lure makers holy grail.  There are plenty form posts about these struggles (I think I was asking about this a while back).  Almost all types of "chrome" or silver paint, or foils tend to lose a bit of luster when finished.  There are some methods that preserve the shine better than others.  

I'd have a look at the engineered angler's playlist of finishing lures.   He trials a bunch of ways to finish lures to try to keep the shine.  I would try for your foil a layer of polycrylic perhaps? That tends to be a pre-finish that seals the lure and lets epoxy stick to it.  But I'm not sure, just a suggestion.  I learned that technique from some of Engineered Anglers videos.  He has a bunch of videos showing ways to get good finish, as well as different foiling technique. 



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Dear all,

First, many thanks for the feedback given.

@aulrich If I understand correctly this foil is applied to a slightly tacky layer of paint or glue and then heat is applied to remove the shiny layer from the plastic carrier and finally apply it to the lure.

I don't see anything wrong with that but I thought the charme of the aluminum tape is that I can get it anywhere and it will just work.

@azsouth The UV resign was pretty expensive - I would not like to switch if not absolutely needed.

@eastman03 I did chech out EA's videos on lure foiling - he must be using a different type of tape. Minwax Polycrylic might work or won't if it's really the tape which is the problem.
I wonder if I should try and switch to transfer foil before I purchase Polycrylic just to find out that I have to find another type of tape.

Do you think this product will work?


Anyway here a picture of the three lures I foiled so far.


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work the foil from the center of the bait to the end, top and bottom....I use a round wood pencil to get the foil to lay against the bait without wrinkles, then wipe it down with a clean rag to get all contaminants of the foil.

BTW no need to foil the top of the bait.

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Do you think it's that bad?! :cry:

I covered the top to avoid the seams and I don't mimd the additional weight for those lures (Salmo Fatso - great, easy to fish lures!)

But even more skill doesn't help if I can't paint and coat the lure in the end..

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Bad no, Lack of experience yes.

1. Dull areas have contamination or oxidation.

2. Cut reliefs for bends and turns.

3. Each foil has it's limitations.

4. Learn the failing point of the foil by pressure exerted when applying. ( make it fail )

5. Nothing replaces experience.

6. Some foils will do quite well with heat and pressure.

7. You should wear disposable gloves when foiling to keep natural oils off the foil.

8. Always wipe down foil when finished with clean cloth.

9. wood pencil/dowel works best to apply foil.

It's not just about one step, it's about putting all the steps together.

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